AUGUST 2011 | ISSUE 02
WHAT THE FRUC(TOSE)?!? THE TURKISH GET-UP STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY
THE 4 AGREEMENTS WITH A CROSSFIT TWIST
Content AUGUST 2011 features THE FRUC(TOSE)?!? 18WHAT Get the lowdown on fruit suger
YOU SHOULD RUN IF YOU 22WHY HATE RUNNING
MEET DR. LEIGHTON 26The Chief Scientist of Stronger Faster Healthier
THE TURKISH GET-UP 28 An incredibly potent and effective
exercise for shoulder stability and core strength
AND CROSSFIT 36CROSSFIT ENDURANCE
Pose certified running coach Ken Schafer gives his opinion of CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance training
IS YOUR INSPIRATION 44WHAT What motivates you to give your all and get to the next level
STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY The evolution of a community
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4 AGREEMENTS WITH A 58THE CROSSFIT TWIST
Making agreements with ourselves to improve who we are, how we behave, and the results we achieve.
HATE YOU CROSSFIT 64II hate you for so many reasons. I
hate you so much I even made a list
TIMING CONCERNS 68MEAL Breakfast, frequency, and snacking
Congratulations CrossFit 760 1st Place at the Tri-County Shakedown
A Balanced Life
A balanced life . . . a topic of conversation that seems to be everywhere these days. I read about it in magazines, see it in news segments and hear it discussed at my box. Now more than ever in my life I find myself struggling with figuring out how to live a balanced life. By months end I will be a first time father. My wife and I are excited to start our family but I can’t help but wonder how am I going to get everything done while living a balanced life. I break my life down into five main categories, family, work, friends, training, and nutrition. So far I’d like to think I’ve done a good job balancing my priorities but now with father added to the list, I feel like the balance needs to be shifted, or at the very least reevaluated. Reevaluation is what I do during many of my workouts. I find it helps keep my mind off the pain of the next interval. If a priority is shifting or a new one has arisen, I rewrite my list of priorities. I post this next to my computer as a reminder of what my choices will be affecting. Then I plan.
Chris Elmore WOD Talk
1. 2. CrossFit 3. I plan my week, even my month so I know when my workouts will be, what my nutrition will require, how things may have to flex if I get busy at the office and most importantly how this will affect my family. Family 4. Concessions are made. If I need to increase my workouts that means an earlier wake up time so I don’t lose time in evenings with my wife. If Work 5. I find myself needing to travel I make the time to modify my nutrition and workout plans to something that I can do at the hotel room or in the airport. Minor adjustments like these along the way help to keep me from feeling overwhelmed when a new priority finds it’s way onto the list. As I put this issue of WOD Talk to bed my mind wanders to the bassinet sitting in the corner of my bedroom, the bike in the garage ready for Saturday’s ride and my next project at work. I find myself realizing that balance in my life will be something I will always be striving to maintain. The key for me is to remember that every decision for each priority is interrelated. Every choice will influence another choice. As long as I keep my top priority in mind when making decisions I know that the decisions I make will be inline with my goal of continuing to live a balanced life.
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PUBLISHER & EDITOR Chris Elmore SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Erik Arevalo CONTRIBUTORS Mike Cahill Sarah Wilson Amy Kubal George Economou Ken Schafer Kristine Hatfield Adam Farrah Nicole Hughes Dawn Fletcher Robert Austin Greg Nelson Mark Sisson RECIPE Sarah Fragoso COVER PHOTO CONTEST WINNER Mario Gandia Photography
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Too often I hear people inside CrossFit gyms belittle others whom they do not know or understand. On hundreds of occasions I have heard members in a gym say something snarky about the guy who he/she saw jogging on the street as they drove into the gym. Or getting into an argument with their roommate about how dumb they are for working out at some other gym that was not ‘CrossFit’. Last time I checked people like Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Albert Pujols have never set foot inside a CrossFit gym much less know what is, and they seem to be doing just fine. The point being is that we who workout in CrossFit gyms are usually too quick to judge others in fitness facilities that are not our own, and label them inferior. Why? This ties in with many in the CrossFit community who think they are elite. There is nothing elite about CrossFit, nothing that was invented through CrossFit, and surely there are no secrets that are confined to the walls of a CrossFit gym. Sure more often than not the workouts that happen on a daily basis in a CrossFit gym are more conducive to real fitness, but that does not mean that there is not some positive things happening inside other gyms. Maybe another topic to be written on later in another issue is ‘what is CrossFit/what is fitness?’ because I am not about to tell the girl who just
ran a marathon in 5 hours she is not fit, just as I am not going to tell the 60 year old man who is 18% body fat who just deadlifted 400 pounds, he is not fit. I hope to be lifting and running at that age. The question ‘what is CrossFit?’ applies here because, the guy who is overhead squatting and doing sprints on the treadmill, is he not ‘CrossFitting’? What about the guy who is running for 60 minutes at a heart rate of 140bpm to be able to better utilize fat as energy, not training smart? Or the one who is bench pressing and doing pull ups? I have done all those things while training under the name ‘CrossFit’, so why are we so quick to judge others who do not belong to a ‘CrossFit’ gym? We have no idea what most people are doing for their workouts, or what their intent is, or if they even have one. But last time I checked most people inside CrossFit gyms have no intent other than they want to be fit. Well, everyone in a globo gym has that same goal, to be fit. So next time you are ready to crack the whip at a globo gym member, try to understand them first, and then if need be, shed some light on them. Remember, we are all in this for the same reason, to make a healthier world. Mike Cahill CrossFit Coach email@example.com
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Loyalty & Respect Through my 31 years of existence I have had some great learning lessons. None as important as learning the value of loyalty and respect. Not long ago I sat with the great Antonio Inoki and discussed the importance of these two words. For those that do not know who Mr. Inoki is, he makes the Dos XX guy look like Ronald McDonald. He has been given a island by Fidel Castro, he has been allowed to set up business’ in North Korea. When this man speaks people listen. He has done everything from professional wrestling to negotiating the release of hostages, in some countries it is in honor to be slapped in the face by him. No joke, I have seen people line up for it. Mr. Inoki and I sat in a bar and discussed what it means to be loyal. He taught me that loyalty is not a word that stands alone. Respect is the foundation of loyalty and without one you cannot have the other. I feel I have always done my best to be a loyal and respectful man to anyone I form a relationship with. But how loyal and respectful have I been to myself? Mr. Inoki asked me if I am loyal and respectful to my own body. I did not know what to say. I have never thought about it. He stated, “One must posses these traits within before they can be given to others.” I feel that we can all be a bit more loyal and respectful to ourselves. We can start by getting proper sleep, eating better, and forgetting the excuses on why we cannot workout. It is lessons like these that mold me into who I am. I do my best to pass these lesson or insights on to all of you. So ask yourself if loyalty and respect reign supreme within yourself and if they don’t then make a change. Erik Arevalo CrossFit Brea www.crossfitbrea.com
Before we break into all the in’s and out’s of the “F” word (fructose), here’s a look at some not so sweet sugar stats. We (Americans) consume on average 38 teaspoons of sugar every day - that adds up to 130 pounds of the stuff each year; 36% percent of it comes from energy drinks, soda, and sports drinks.
What the Fruc(tose)?!? Fructose, simply put - fruit sugar. We’ve all heard about it; good (few and far between), bad (most common), and otherwise (the controversy). The most common ‘bad guy’ is not just plain old fructose but its evil counterpart - high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This stuff has been linked to hypertension, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, elevated blood lipids, atherosclerosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney stones, gout, and metabolic syndrome.
Now, back to fructose and HFCS. What is it and is one really worse than the other? First, some basics: Fructose is a ‘simple sugar’ (monosaccharide), just like glucose and galactose. All three have roughly 15 calories per teaspoon. It’s a combination of these ‘simple sugars’ that make up the other -oses (sucrose or table sugar is a combination of fructose + glucose). Unlike glucose, which serves as the body’s main fuel source and is readily used for energy, fructose is not so easily metabolized. Let’s get ‘sciencey’ for a minute. Glucose, the body’s preferred fuel source, uses insulin as a shuttle to get into cells where it is used for energy. Insulin controls the amount of glucose in the blood at any one time. Unfortunately, fructose requires a little more work. It isn’t regulated by insulin nor is it shuttled into cells for use. Fructose is carried from the small intestine to the liver via a special carrier protein called GLUT-2. The liver metabolizes fructose into a variety of different things including glycogen, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and uric acid. It is this special processing that results in fructose’s negative health effects. Now onto the controversy - for every study or ad telling us that HFCS is bad there’s another one sending the opposite message. What’s the deal? Now that we see how fructose is metabolized, (this applies to ALL fructose - from fruit, from soda, and from HFCS and
other sweeteners), is HFCS really any worse than plain old fructose, table sugar, honey, agave, etc.? Consider this - HFCS and table sugar have nearly the same amount of fructose. Table sugar (sucrose) is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. There are two types of HFCS; one of which is 55% fructose and 42% glucose (used in beverages) and one that’s 42% fructose and 53% glucose (used in cereals, yogurt, etc.). Compare that with honey - 50% fructose and 50% glucose, agave - 56-92% fructose depending on the brand, and an apple - 70% fructose. Even the ‘innocent’ strawberry is about 52% fructose... Does that help clear up the ‘limit fruit’ recommendation...? Fruit’s redeeming factors are that, comparatively speaking, it’s low in calories, has some fiber, vitamins and minerals unlike the ‘hard’ sugars. Whether it’s fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, xylose, invert sugar, molasses, fruit, fruit juice concentrate, maltodextrin, turbinado sugar, malt syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, HFCS and yes, even straight-up fruit, it’s all going to the liver and the net result will be the same. There really is no definitive answer as to which is the worst. As I like to say “Sugar is as sugar does.” And
what does ‘sugar do’ - not a whole heck of a lot of anything good. So, what the fruc(tose)?!? Let’s make it a ‘sugar-free summer’! Amy Kubal Amy is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian specializing in the Paleo Diet and performance nutrition; Amy earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Nutrition from Colorado State University. She currently works with athletes and individuals looking to improve their overall health and performance through diet and lifestyle. Amy is a consultant dietitian for Robb Wolf, Director of Robb’s RD Network, consultant dietitian for Joe Friel’s TrainingBible coaching, The Whole9, Boot Camp Pasadena, and writes for Paleo Magazine. Visit her blog at www.fuelasrx.blogspot.com
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WE ARE THE UNDERGROUND
Why You Should Run if you Hate Running My sister Natalie called me a month ago and said “I’m thinking of running a marathon.” This was surprising considering I once convinced her participate in a 5k race with my Cross-Country team in high school and when she finished all she said was “That was stupid.” She looked genuinely pissed off as she traipsed through the field after the meet, huffing and puffing the whole way home. Point being, she hates running. Naturally I am shocked when she tells me she’s considering a marathon. She starts listing reasons why she shouldn’t do, bla bla bla, I listen quietly on the other end of the line while rolling my eyes. Finally she says “I mean, is this really even good for me? Am I going to wreck my body?” I immediately identify this as yet another cop-out masked as concern for her own physical well-being. She’s gotten really strong through CrossFit over the course of the past year and she’s acting like she doesn’t want to run a marathon because she’ll waste away, kill her joints, and lose all of her strength. This is pure B.S. I gently remind her that CrossFit Endurance (which I have been training and
coaching for over 2 years) is not about high volume running and eating buckets of pasta at every meal. Don’t worry sister, you’ll still be deadlifting and back squatting with the best of ‘em. I stay calm even though I am boiling inside. She already knows this, she’s just looking for a way out of this marathon that, I remind her, was HER idea in the first place. Clearly, the actual running of 26.2 miles is not the aspect a marathon that has my sister contemplating signing up. I am not event going to attempt to convince her that she will come to love running or that she will enjoy the track work that I prescribe. She’ll probably hate it. We both know that. But the fact that she invited the possibility of running a marathon into her brain tells me something. She wants to prove something to herself. She wants to be challenged. She wants to invite fear and uncertainty into her life... and she wants to crush it. And I want this for her too. In fact, if there is one thing that I want in this life, it is to help people, like my sister, realize their own strength and conquer whatever fear stands in their way. I don’t want to paint a picture
here that my sister is weak and needs my rescuing. Far from it. She has faced things much worse than a 26.2 mile run, things she did not “sign up for”, and she has proven her strength over and over again. And I know she’s not actually calling me so I’ll agree with her and say “Yea, you probably shouldn’t run. You’d hate it. Just keep CrossFitting, you’re good at that.” She is calling me because she knows I will not let her talk herself out of it. And as scary as a marathon is to her, and as much as she wants to run away from it, she is calling because she wants someone to help her run right into it. I had just finished reading The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. There is a section towards the end featuring Brian MacKenzie, the founder of CrossFit Endurance. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book so I am paraphrasing here but the Ferriss basically describes a conversation he had with Brian regarding whether or not ultra distance running is “healthy” or “good for your body”. Granted, they are discussing a 50 mile run but I think their conversation applies beautifully to the one I am having with Nat at this moment and to so many people contemplating a challenge. Brian’s response stuck with me and I am grateful to have read
his words prior to my sister’s phone call. I relay his message to her: Is running 26.2 miles good for you physically? No. But you will recover. And I promise, when you finish that marathon, you won’t be the same person you were when you started. There is silence on the other end of the line. I wait. I start to smile. I know this silence well. It’s the “I-haveno-excuses-left” silence. When she finally responds she is no longer defensive or anxious in her tone. She no longer reminds me of the pissed off high schooler who’s big sister just forced her to run a 5k. She is calm and composed and simply says, “Well, I can’t really say no after that.” Again, I remind her that I did not ask her to run a marathon. She asked it of herself. She’s not saying yes to me or to anyone else. She is saying yes to herself. This is very important. She is speaking directly to the part of herself that harbors doubt, fear, and anxiety. She is telling that part herself that it is not in charge any more, and YES, she will run a marathon in spite of it. I can tell the marathon monster is already starting to slowly shrink under the shadow of her growing confidence.
Nat is about four weeks into her training program. Last weekend she ran a 15k race (a little premature but she signed up for it months ago). She ran it roughly 10 minutes faster than last year. I’d say we’re off to a good start and I can’t wait to watch her cross the finish line. Sarah Wilson Fashletics www.fashletics.com Sarah is a coach at South Florida CrossFit Endurance and a competitive athlete. She has competed at the Regional level with her CrossFit Affiliate Team and at the World level with Team USA in the sport of Duathlon (run/bike/run). Sarah is also a jewelry designer/metalsmith and recently launched Fashletics, a collection of handmade jewelry inspired by a passion for fitness and competition. Each piece from Fashletics is a badge of honor and an expression of strength designed to celebrate and inspire the athlete within.
Meet Dr. Leighton: Chief Scientist of SFH! Dr. Leighton completed formal training in chemistry, pharmacology and human therapeutics at the University of Virginia. He believes that his education has continued to the present. Over the course of 30 years, he counts 6 Nobel Laureates as his mentors, including: Al Gilman, Ferid Murad, George Hitchings, Trudy Elion, John Vane and Jim Black. These individuals and other imparted the idea that critical thinking was key to science, e.g. that it is obligation of science to test the “Null Hypothesis” In practice, this means to design definitive experiments that serve to disprove existing dogma. Failure to disprove over time supports the value of the scientific theory as valid. Upon graduation, he went to work for Burroughs Wellcome, where he rose to rank of Principle Scientist (Chief Scientist for the Corporation). Later he joined Glaxo Pharmaceuticals as V.P. of Pharmacology and World Wide Director for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases. In both of these companies, he was responsible for activities from concept to bedside (drug approval) and has developed many successful drugs. After 18 years in large pharmaceutical, he began a career in biotechnology where he founded, managed and directed many companies involved in diverse technical areas including: chemistry, lung disease, ion channel biology, sleep, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity research, migraine, pain and formulation sciences. Over the past 5 years, he has turned his attention to the role of nutrition in healthcare. His thesis being that we can control many of our health issues by changing our diets. His goals are to transform health care in the U.S. to well care via nutrition choices; appropriate use of supplements that have been designed to work based on biochemistry and pharmacology and of course exercise. Central to this view is that many foods induce inflammation, obesity and diabetes. Inflammation, he believes, is the core co-morbidity component of most chronic diseases including the aging process. In addition to inflammation, the second core area of focus is cell energetics, defined as the ability of our bodies to make and store energy and the role of insulin in this process.
His strengths including “thinking outside the box”, learning from the patient /client (good medicine comes from listening to the patient) and more specifically cardiovascular and metabolic disease (diabetes, muscle wasting and obesity). Over the course of his career he has filed over 150 patents and received approval to date for over 100 patents. His hobbies include hiking, biking and running. He is an advocate of the CrossFit training methods, in particular CrossFit Endurance. This approach in practice had been shown to produce results and makes sense from a biochemical perspective. Dr. Leighton lives and works in Boston and along the coast of Maine. http://strongerfasterhealthier.com
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Athlete Profile Mark Laasko
Age 61 Retired Trains at CrossFit Oahu Started CrossFit: May 10, 2008 Favorite aspect of CrossFit: Love the lifestyle, culture and the people. Memorable Accomplishments: Being able to get thru a complete workout. Going RX. Doing things I never thought I could do. Examples; HSPU, free Body Weight Thruster... Oh, and I can't leave out the fact that after almost 3 years, I can string together DU's.
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The Turkish Get-Up By George Economou
www.crossfitinvictus.com The Turkish Get-Up (TGU) isn’t a fancy exercise. Through a somewhat awkward series of movements, the TGU has you take a weight from a supine to a standing position with the weight extended overhead the entire time. It doesn’t have the sex appeal of the Olympic lifts, and you can’t “butterfly” it like a pull-up. Those things aside, it’s still an incredibly potent and effective exercise for two reasons: shoulder stability and core strength. Shoulder Stability: The TGU takes you through a range of motion not duplicated by any other exercise, all the while forcing your shoulder stabilizers to respond to your movement, and teaching the shoulder how to stay “packed” through movement. Core Strength: For anyone wishing to improve their deadlift, squat, Olympic lifts, or just avoid back pain, the TGU teaches you how to integrate your core/ trunk/midsection/what-have-you into movement in a way that will help you maintain a neutral spine while also minimizing energy leaks. The following pictures and cues explain how to execute a variation of the exercise that I prefer over others. Once you feel proficient in this lunge technique, you’re encouraged to experiment with other methods. As with any exercise, if this is your first exposure to it, keep the weight light (or non-existent) and practice the technique first. DO NOT sacrifice movement quality in order to get the heaviest weight possible overhead. Throughout the movement descriptions, the term “working” refers to the hand, arm, or same-side leg that is holding the KB. Don’t be confused, you’re entire body is being worked throughout the exercise. Notes written in italics are common faults. Just as a disclaimer, I did not invent the TGU, and I don’t know who did. As for the way that I coach the TGU, my biggest influences have been McGill, Pavel and Cook.
Getting into your starting position
• Lay down on your side, the side you intend on starting with. • Establish a false-grip on the kettlebell (KB) with your working hand. Clasp your other hand on top. • With the KB held close to your body, roll onto your back. • Your working forearm is perpendicular to the floor. • Your same-side leg’s knee is flexed, with your foot planted on the floor. • Keeping your shoulder blade pulled back-anddown towards your spine, tighten down your abs and press the KB straight up. • Keep your eye on the KB at all times.
Common Faults in Step 1
• Taking the KB overhead from a compromised shoulder position. • Flexing the wrong knee (bringing the wrong foot up into the support position).
Push up to your elbow
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Set a tight brace. • Keeping your working foot planted, roll/push onto your non-working elbow.
Common Fault in Step 2
• Biggest fault seen here is not maintaining a solid brace. Throughout the movement, but at this point in particular, it’s critical to try to “marry” your rib cage and your pelvis – the two should not move independently of each other. • Don’t be afraid of using your working foot to help push you up. This exercise is all about identifying movement strategies – integrating every part of your body in order to accomplish a task.
Push up to your hand
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Keep your working foot planted, maintain your brace, and press up to your non-working hand.
Common Fault in Step 3
• This is where you tend to see the elbow start to bend. Keep the arm locked out. It may help to think of trying to keep the biceps close to the ear. If you can’t keep the arm locked out, try it with a lighter weight.
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Keep your working foot planted and maintain your brace. • Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips up as high as possible
Common Fault in Step 4
• Creeping up to the toes. If you’re up on the toes of your working foot, the glutes will not fully engage, your hips will be too low, and you won’t have enough clearance to pull your non-working leg all the way through. It’s an easy fix though, keep the heel of the working foot planted.
Sweep the leg! You got a problem with that?
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Maintain a rigid position with a straight line from back of the head to working foot. • Pull your non-working leg behind you until you’re in a partial lunge
Come into the lunge
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Keeping a tight brace, bring your torso into a vertical position directly over your hips. • The palm of your working hand should turn in towards your head as your torso becomes vertical.
Common Fault in Step 6
• The limp noodle. Keep the arm locked out!
George Economou is a CSCS, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and Metabolic Typing Advisor. George has also completed the Assessment, Program Design, and Lifestyles Coaching modules for the OPT Coaching Certification Program, as well as numerous CrossFit specialty certifications. He joined the Invictus team in 2009, after seven years as a Marine Corps officer.
Step 7 Stand
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times. • Keep the shoulder blade of your working arm pulled back-and-down. • Stand. (As shown in the photo at the very top.)
Step 8 Reverse
• Keep your eye on the KB at all times.
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CrossFit & CrossFit Endurance My Opinion
It has become really popular to bash CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance. To some extent, heavy criticism is the price of success, especially in the fitness world where professional jealousy and rivalries seems to be a way of life. Also, it’s very healthy to question fitness trends, many of which are not effective, and to prevent those that are effective from becoming too dogmatic. However, much of the criticism of CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance is based either on inaccurate information or a general misunderstanding of what they are about.
CrossFit Let’s start with CrossFit. Most of the criticism of CrossFit that I’ve seen is based largely on a general misunderstanding of what CrossFit is about. CrossFit is about GENERAL fitness not specific fitness. The goal of CrossFit is to develop athletes who are very fit in all areas fitness without any specialization, or in other words, the goal is to develop an athlete who is “a jack of all trades and the master of none”. I constantly read annoying statements like, “If
CrossFit is so great, why are there no CrossFit athletes competing at the top levels of (fill in athletic activity here)”. I also consistently read silly statements like, “No professional athlete would ever train like that”. My response is, “Yes, and that’s the point. CrossFit is designed to develop general fitness, and not to develop top level competitors for sport x, y or z”. If I’m in a bad mood, I usually follow my response with, “Please get a clue.” How well does CrossFit develop general Fitness? Well, in my experience, CrossFit does a great job of developing general fitness. I’m not saying that CrossFit is perfect, and that there is no room for improvement. In fact, I think that there is a lot of room for improvement. Particularly in how they work with and develop beginners. However, that may be a topic for another day. CrossFit Endurance Now let’s discuss CrossFit Endurance. This is an
even more misunderstood than CrossFit, and it is far more controversial. CrossFit Endurance attempts to develop endurance athletes by first developing general fitness, running technique, and good dietary habits. After developing a generally fit and healthy athlete, they mostly do high-intensity low-volume training for their runs. The total running mileage for CFE training is roughly 1/3 of the total mileage of more traditional training programs. In my opinion, many, maybe even most, runners would probably improve their running performance if they take up CrossFit Endurance for one or more of the following reasons. 1. Most runners have severe fitness deficits that cannot be directly address by running, but are none-the-less preventing them from reaching their full potential as runners. Most runners only run, and do very little else. Of those who
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do cross train, most of them are not serious about their cross training activities, nor are they cross training in a way that compliments their running. 2. Most runners have really bad technique. The vast majority of runners land on their heels. While that is not the only problem with the technique of most runners, it does mean that most runner’s need improvement in this area. 3. Most runners have bad dietary habits. Most runner’s think they need to eat a lot of grain based carbohydrates and even sugar. Unfortunately high grain and sugar diets cannot be reconciled with our evolutionary heritage, and the science that has been done well and objectively is clearly indicating that we are not meant to eat grains or sugar. 4. Most runners only do slow running over medium to long distances and never develop a base level of speed.
Compete Every Day. It’s not just a t-shirt. It’s a mindset. That we should all compete. Every second. Every day. For our beliefs, work, families, relationships, health, and ultimately, life. We are either progressing or regressing. There is no such thing as being stagnant. Compete for your life today.
Without a doubt, there are many open questions about CrossFit Endurance. Let’s assume that a group of runners already have good technique, a good diet, and no severe fitness deficits. How then would the CFE’s program of high intensity low mileage training stack up to traditional high mileage training consisting of only about 10 percent speed work? I don’t have the answer; this has yet to be studied scientifically in the context of a full CFE program. However, here are the questions I have, and that I would like to see future research address. 1. Can general fitness activities be used as a substitute for high mileage low intensity workouts? 2. If CFE workouts can be substituted for traditional training, will it work for everyone? 3. If not, is there a physiological profile for those who will benefit more from CFE or traditional
training methods? 4. Are CFE training methods better for less advanced runners, and less effective for more advanced runners? Here are my opinions on these questions. 1. Can general fitness activities be substituted for low intensity mileage? Yes. If the runner has poor levels general fitness. However, once those deficits have been address, I think the answer is usually no, but sometimes yes. 2. Can CFE workouts work for everyone? I donâ€™t think so. I think they will work better for a subset of well-trained runners, and for those who have problems with general fitness, diet and running technique. 3. Is there a physiological profile for people who benefit more one form of training or the other? I think that there probably is. Besides novice runners, who have many basic issues to address, I think there is a subset of runners who do not respond well to traditional training methods, and who probably would respond better to CFE methods. 4. Are CFE training methods better for less advanced runners, and less effective for more advanced runners? I think that this is generally true. Traditional methods either do not address or do not address well the development of general fitness, the development of a base level of speed, the development of running technique, or of the adoption of good dietary habits. CFE does address all of these, and it addresses them well. However, once they have been addressed, I think that most runners will do better with more traditional training methods, as long as they maintain a base of general fitness, a good diet, and good technique. CrossFit Endurance has a lot of detractors. CFE also has a lot of people who swear by it, and they
seem to be anywhere from complete novices to successful endurance athletes who have trained for years using more traditional methods. Is it more effective than traditional training methods? It depends. I doubt that it will become the new standard for training elite endurance athletes, but I definitely do think it has an important place for the training of non-elite athletes. Thatâ€™s my opinion on CF and CFE, at least until there are some well designed scientific studies to indicate differently. Ken Schafer http://www.posecoachblog.com Ken started running in 1975 at the age of 12, and has been running ever since. At this time, the focus of his coaching efforts is on teaching Pose Running technique. For the runners he coaches, beyond the technique phase, he uses a combination
of Pose conditioning, CrossFit Endurance, and traditional training methods. Currently, he has focused his personal workouts around Kettlebell and Indian club training as a way to address my personal fitness deficits. Kenâ€™s credentials: Pose Running Coach Level III Certification RRCA Certified Coach CrossFit Level I Certification CrossFit Nutrition Certification CrossFit Endurance Certification Army Master Fitness Instructor B.S. Exercise Science - UMass Amherst
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WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you get it from watching CrossFit videos and reading CrossFit websites? Does your inspiration come from one of the elite CrossFitters that we all admire so much? It truly is inspiring to watch others who achieve CrossFit greatness and complete what seem to be impossible feats for the rest of us. For me, inspiration comes from watching every day people slug it out in the gym, trying to accomplish something that they weren’t able to do the day before, the week before, or the month before. My inspiration comes from watching someone keep trying to get one chest to bar pull-up for 6:45 seconds of a 7 minute WOD without ever giving up – and then not complaining or making excuses when it didn’t happen. My inspiration comes from people who walk through our door, faces beaming, to tell me what they accomplished on their own working on something at home, or how they were able to row 2km for the first time without their asthma rearing it’s ugly head, or how their clothes don’t fit anymore because of the weight they’ve lost. My inspiration comes from those who are willing to challenge themselves by trying to do something they aren’t sure they can do and then learning from each
and every attempt. My inspiration comes from those who put in the time and effort to work on what they are not good at, or what they don’t like to do, in order to get better instead of only working on what they’re already good at or the things they like to do. Watching the elite athletes of the CrossFit world certainly is amazing, no arguments there. However, it is the people that come into the gym and try their hardest, don’t make excuses, and continuously strive to improve – they are my inspiration. Kristine Hatfield Square One CrossFit http://www.squareonecrossfit.com Kristine Hatfield is the co-owner, with Chris Devay, of Square One CrossFit which has been open since October 2009 and is located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Kristine has been CrossFitting since the spring of 2009 and has competed in the 2010 Canada Regionals (individual) and 2011 Canada East Regionals (team).
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Strong is the New Skinny Evolution of a Community
It was just about a year ago that I wrote a blog post about a shirt my Facebook friend Marsha had posted a pic of. That post changed a lot of things for me, for Marsha and for many people in the online training communities. Actually, it’s not so much that the post “changed” things. It’s more that the post gave us core idea or statement to organize around. As Seth Godin, author of “Tribes” would put it, it simply led people where they already wanted to go. The post I’m referring to is: “Is Strong the New Skinny?” If you’ve seen someone wearing the T-shirt or you follow the group on Facebook, well, that post was what started the whole crazy thing. I vividly remember that great and formative summer of writing and training
in my family’s little summer cottage in Old Saybrook, CT. So many things happened that summer of 2010. I guess it’s only appropriate that I would have written a little post that made its way around the world in that time. It began innocently enough. Marsha, who lives in Texas, posted an iPhone pic of a shirt she made for herself on Facebook. The shirt said: Strong is the New Skinny. I saw it on her wall and thought it was an interesting concept. I started thinking about the statement and asked Marsha if I could use the pic for a blog post. She said I could and I started a post that went nowhere for a few weeks and just sat in the “Drafts” folder on my blog. Cool pic, cool concept, and I had some ideas,
but I didn’t really have inspiration to take it anywhere coherent. So it sat... A few weeks later, I ran across some competition footage of The Ice Chamber Kettlebell Girls on YouTube. It’s a great video and it got me kind of fired up and inspired. I was also reading Seth Godin’s Tribes
at the time and I was thinking a lot about how the world has changed and how the social web has made it possible for so many different images to reach our consciousness. How we’re no longer limited to what TV and the major networks and mainstream media want us to see and how we all have a voice now – if we choose to use it. Those ingredients – plus some strong coffee – created a blog post. And that blog post ended up making its way around Facebook and Twitter so far and so fast it gave me a firsthand understanding of what “going viral” actually looks like while it’s happening. What’s funny is, when I read that post NOW, I don’t even think it’s that good. It wasn’t exactly a work of literary art. But, it was full of passion and raw emotion and I think that – more than anything else – is what people picked up on and resonated with.
Two Unlikely “Leaders…”
Since Marsha and I are such Facebook addicts, it seemed only natural to create a Facebook group called Strong is the New Skinny. What’s funny is that we never had a plan for the group. We never had a plan for any of this. It was 100% organic. When Strong is the New Skinny or “SINS” started up, it was really just us and a bunch of our friends – mostly CrossFitters.
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So, we were really just extending the conversations we were already having on Facebook to a new page. We never expected that, less than a year later in July 2011, SINS would have over 21,000 followers and we’d have friends from all over the world. Marsha and I have never really seen ourselves as “leading” anything or as “leaders” of some kind. We find it funny when people refer to us that way or talk about some “movement” we created. We never had a plan. We never thought anything through. And we never “tried” to do anything or make something happen. SINS was just us Facebooking with our friends and making new ones along the way. Friends who shared a common passion for training and health and sharing and community. That’s about it... In a lot of ways, we feel like the community created itself more than anything. In the beginning, most of the status updates on SINS were from Marsha and me – blog posts, pics interesting stuff we’d find online that we thought people could benefit from. But now, at least half of what goes up on SINS is from others in the community. It’s user generated. I know of at least a few people who started a blog so they could share what they were doing in their training and their life with the SINS community in a more focused way. What’s been entirely unexpected and extremely gratifying though, is the inspiration factor. Someone posts almost daily that SINS and the community there has inspired them. For some, it’s a new powerlifting PR in competition. For others, it’s trying CrossFit for the first time or going Paleo for 30 days without cheating. And, for others, it might be getting out and walking every day for exercise. Regardless of age, goals or fitness level, the community has an intangible energy about it that inspires people to improve from wherever they are at the moment. And that inspiration goes the other way too. Marsha and I are constantly inspired and motivated to be better and do better at what we do by the examples and comments from our friends on SINS.
The Next Generation…
SINS inspires people and spreads the idea that women can be strong and athletic. Things ARE changing. Our friends at CrossFit Relentless shared this drawing one of
the kids did of her mom. Women’s stereotypes shifting much? At the least, SINS on Facebook is a place where people with the same ideas can get together and hang out – even if they’re on opposite sides of the country or the world. And, when you realize that there are others out there who share you passions, it’s easier for you to follow those passions and stay strong when the going gets tough and “society” is telling you to quit, lower your standards and settle for less.
The Body Image Thing…
Something I was never fully aware of before my involvement in the SINS community was the extent to which female images in the media need to change. I’ve gotten some very personal emails from women who have embraced what the SINS community is about and told me their personal story. There’s a HUGE and virtually invisible community of women who have been affected in a very negative way by the “skinny ideal” for women that’s ubiquitous in the mainstream media. Even many women who LOVE to be strong and muscular have a deep-seated resistance to being who they want to be because of the incessant assault of images the mainstream is hitting us with. In some cases, the resistance isn’t even conscious. It’s a subtle, nagging something-or-other that’s just below the surface. It’s not really loud, but it’s just enough to keep some women from living up to the strength and training potential they truly desire for themselves. This is one of the global, culture-changing implications of things like SINS and CrossFit and Paleo and kettlebells and all the other effective disciplines that have thriving communities online – these are healthy
body-oriented pursuits. They offer an alternative to the images and stereotypes the mainstream media is forcing on us day and night.
If You See Oprah, Give Her Our Number…
But, You’re a Guy…
Yeah, I’m a guy. There are A LOT of guys on SINS. What better place on Facebook for a guy to hang out than with the cool, strong women who love to train, right? But, yes, I’m a guy. And a straight one at that – despite what Merle from CrossFit Relentless thinks… So, what drives me to do this whole SINS thing? I love strong women. I always have. Sure, they look great and muscles on women are sexy, but there’s more. There’s something inside a strong woman. Something that drives her to be strong, to train in a stereotypically “male” environment and to drive herself to finish workouts that some women wouldn’t even start. And whatever that “something” is, it radiates out from her and that makes her sexy. You can’t really define it, but we all know it when we see it. It’s an inner confidence. It’s a solidness that you can’t describe. It’s being feminine in a way that’s strong and independent. It rocks!
For the first few months of SINS blowing up on Facebook, Marsha and I would joke that the first time we met in real life we’d meet to shop at Nordstrom for stuff to wear for our Oprah appearance. (Besides CrossFit and Facebook, Marsha and I REALLY like to shop. I really am straight, honest…) Oprah hasn’t called yet (is she even still on TV?), but we’re patiently waiting. It would be nice for strong women to really hit the mainstream and have an effect on future generations. What if a whole generation of young women grew up seeing their mom eat Paleo and do CrossFit? One can only imagine… SINS is really about people getting together and going where they already wanted to go. It’s about change and it’s about what people actually want – not what the media tells them to want. SINS is about community, having a voice in the world and challenging the status quo. As I said in the original post: MAKE Strong the New Skinny…
Adam Farrah IKFF Kettlebell Teacher CrossFit Coach http://practicalpaleolithic.com
your brand for free, but you have to respect the platform. There are all kinds of privacy regulations and guidelines on Facebook. This might not seem like a major concern, but they will shut down your profile if they find out you are a business operating as a “friend”. Not to mention it can feel “awkward” if a company wants to “friend” you. As a fan page, people who like your gym will do the viral legwork for you by “liking” your page or recommending it to a friend.
Gotta Look the Part
Whether you operate a fan page or a friend profile might go unnoticed to the masses but to those who are engaged in social media, marketing and the ever-changing “social” updates and trends – they will absolutely notice that your business is operating as a ‘friend’ instead of a ‘biz’. To these people – it looks unprofessional, outdated and can give the impression that you are unaware. We’ve been checking out hundreds of CrossFit affiliate websites and Facebook pages lately and noticed that so many people are still using a profile page instead of a fan page for their business. So after seeing the 26th-ish CrossFit affiliate profile page operating as a business page – we tweeted “Affiliate Owners – if you still have a FB profile page for your biz, u have to update to a fan page tonight! Don’t wait – DO IT. #Biz” A few re-tweets and responses later we had a few people wondering what the benefit of a fan page over a profile page is, “Why should we make the switch?” “The profile page seems to be working fine.” Here’s the truth – your profile page probably IS working just fine, but if you want to establish your brand and online presence, you have to switch to a fan page. Keep in mind we are not referring to your personal Facebook page (as an affiliate owner) we are talking about your gym’s page on Facebook. Where you post updates, information, pictures of your clients and engage/communicate with your CrossFit community from the gym.
A Few Reasons on Why You Should Switch Respect the Platform
Facebook is, by far, one of the best places you can communicate with your current client base and potential clients. Now, more than ever before, you can cultivate your online community and establish
You can do more as a business when you have a fan page vs. a profile page
*Your page will offer you stats so you know if people like the content you are putting out. You will be able to see impressions and feedback percentages on every post you publish. So, for example, you will know that 12% of your 3,000 fans are engaging in your nutrition posts. From here you can adjust, try new things and keep the conversation going. *You will be able to create event pages for your gym. Any time you have a challenge, competition, potluck dinner or happy hour you can create an event page and invite your ‘fans’. This will raise awareness for your events, help you market them and keep people up to date on any changes or information. Your fans can also start up conversations on the event page, which will further lead to more awareness for your event. *There is a cap on the number of friends you can have as a profile page; however, you can have unlimited fans on a fan page. (Example: Starbucks has close to 3 million fans)
Fan pages are indexed by search engines – profile pages are not. With a fan page your search rate will increase and you will make it much more convenient for people to find your business. Establish Your Brand Online By becoming a Fan page you will be ranked among the big brands like Starbucks and Southwest Airlines and the coolest part is that you have an equal opportunity to communicate to your community on this platform. You have the exact same tools they have (other than their sweet graphics). Your
fans will see your business as a professional brand establishing itself in the marketplace.
Making The Switch
This Spring FB came out with a handy little tool that will switch your business’s profile page to a fan page in just a few clicks. All of your friends will automatically become your fans! Check it out –> http://mashable. com/2011/03/31/facebook-profile-to-page-migration/ A few words of caution: Be sure to ‘download’ your content before transitioning if you’re worried about losing any of it. The tool will not transition any of your posts or pictures that you currently have up.
After you’ve made the switch publish a few pictures and your logo to give your page some life. Add in information and details about your business and then announce your transition to your fans. For your 1st post put up a message that says something along the lines of ‘We’ve officially transitioned to a fan page so we can bring you better content, updates, pictures and videos! BIG thanks to you guys for making CrossFit Central an awesome community!“ CrossFit Central had 3-4 brands that all needed to make this switch. It seemed like a challenging task since they were all linked to CrossFit Central’s profile page for years. By transitioning at that time we would have lost 3 of the pages not to mention close to 3,000 of Central’s fans. When Facebook finally developed this tool we immediately made the switch. It took us about a week to get content up so that the page didn’t look bare – we are so happy we made the switch.
Nicole Hughes joined the CrossFit Central team 9 months after it was founded in Austin, TX. She helped CoFounders Jeremy Thiel and Carey Kepler take what was then a small gym to a million dollar company from the ground up through marketing, events, and other media driven content. Over the course of 4 years Nicole has helped launch and direct several other CrossFit Central related brands including CrossFit Central Women, CrossFit Central ATX, Relentless Boot Camp, and RedBlackGym. In 2008, along with Jeremy and Carey, she CoCreated Garage Gym Blueprint, a garage gym business consulting company. Through seminars, informational material, ebooks and consulting this team’s goal is to help other affiliates succeed!
Nicole Hughes http://twitter.com/nicolejhughes http://nicolehughes.tumblr.com/
Garage Gym Blueprint http://garagegymblueprint.com http://twitter.com/ggblueprint
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The 4 Agreements with a CrossFit Twist Sport Psychology for Elite Fitness
We can make agreements with ourselves to improve who we are, how we behave, and the results we achieve. A special friend gave me a Toltec Wisdom Book, “The Four Agreements” over 2 years ago before I embarked on a journey of self-discovery to California. This book speaks about four codes of conduct to live by. I love these agreements and found that they closely apply to our journey with CrossFit. If you can adopt these agreements and pursue them vigorously and diligently… you will transform your life. 1. Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say what you mean. Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself. If you adopt this…any emotional poison will be cleared from our mind & our communication.
:: With CrossFit we must speak lovingly to ourselves and direct our energy towards purpose and a positive direction. Our thoughts towards ourselves and about ourselves must be positive and loving. We need to give ourselves credit for our effort after each workout. We must not blame ourselves for our letdowns. Never speak badly about yourself, another member, a coach, CrossFit HQ, etc. Your words express your thoughts and your thoughts define you. Make a conscious decision to clear the drama and negative talk from your mind and your spoken word. 2. Don’t Take Anything Personally – nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves. Whatever you think, whatever you feel, I know it is your problem and not my problem. It is the way you see the world. When we really see other people as they are without taking
it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Remember, nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves. :: With CrossFit, we are constantly interacting with others and being compared to others. You cannot deny that there is a large social aspect to this way of fitness. We are constantly being challenged and pushed by others in our community. CrossFitters, we must remember that any negativity from others is a direct reflection of that person. Although CrossFit brings out the best in people most of the time, it can also bring out some ‘not so great’ emotions and outbursts. Do not let yet yourself become hurt or consumed by other people’s words and actions towards you. Those potentially hurtful or negative words and actions are a direct reflection of that person’s outlook and mindset. They have interpersonal issues that you are not a part of… so you must not take anything personally. 3. Don’t Make Assumptions - It is very interesting
how the human mind works. We have the need to justify everything to explain and understand everything in order to feel safe. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding. This agreement can completely transform your life. :: With CrossFit we must take action and be clear to other members and our coaches about what we want. What we want out of this CrossFit Experience, how we want to be treated and what is on our minds. Do not gossip and make assumptions about things others tell you. Respect other points of view and respect yourself enough to be honest with your feelings. We are all different and we all have different expectations and opinions. Stop expecting others to know what is going on in your head, and do not assume that you know what others are thinking and feeling, ever. 4. Always Do Your Best – doing your best you are going to live your life intensely, you are going to be productive and you are going to be good to
yourself. Doing your best is taking action because you love it not because you’re expecting a reward. We don’t need to know or prove anything. Just to be, to take as risk and enjoy life that is all that matters. ::With CrossFit, doing your best is going to be change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to injured or sick. Yet under any circumstance, if you do your best for that moment, you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. Your best is not what you could do in the past or what you should be able to do. Your best is not what your competitor can do or what you will once be able to do. Your best is what you can do…in that moment, during that workout. Make a daily commitment that sounds like this… “I am going to speak lovingly to myself and others, I will not take anything others do personally, I will communicate clearly to avoid assumptions and I will always do my best.”
Keep your attention only on today, in the present moment, and do your best to honor these 4 agreements every time you enter your CrossFit box…and every time you exit it. Book by Don Miguel Ruiz Dawn Fletcher www.FletcherFitness.com Blog on Sport Psychology for Elite Fitness Dawn Fletcher has an M.A. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Psychology. She is a CrossFit Coach (with numerous CrossFit Certs.) & a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in San Diego, CA. She focuses on the mental aspect of performance and works with individuals/athletes looking to perform at an elite level.
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Today I would like to talk about pain. We have all experienced pain in our lives. It can manifest in many forms including emotional, psychological and physical, temporary or ongoing, tolerable or unbearable, and positive or negative. Specifically I want to talk about physical and psychological. First off I want to distinguish between damaging and constructive types of pain. Damaging pain is the kind of pain that you experience when you actually hurt yourself, a cut or broken bone, torn ligament etc. Or the type of pain that comes just prior to an event of that magnitude, i.e. the pain that warns you that something is hot so you don’t burn yourself. That is what we will continue to call pain. This pain is very very important to your survival and should almost always be listened to.
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The second type of pain is the one I am more concerned with in this note, and that is the “constructive” type of pain. This is the soreness you feel after a workout, the burning sensation in your lungs and taste of blood in your mouth when sprinting, the little voice in your head that tells you that this is too tough and you need to slow down. This is the constructive type of pain and it is here and now and forever referred to as “The Suck.” The Suck, although it doesn’t seem like it, is a constructive force, it is the athletes friend. The Suck is where you will improve, grow stronger, and become faster. The Suck will tease you and berate you and make you want to quit, but that is its job. The Suck doesn’t feel good. Plain and simple. The Suck...well sucks. The majority of people spend their lives trying to avoid The Suck. And for some people this is a good thing, but for those of us trying to improve ourselves physically and mentally, avoiding spending time with The Suck is bad. Alright so we can’t avoid The Suck. So how do we deal with it. Well the first thing we have to do is just acknowledge that The Suck is a part of training and that it isn’t
going anywhere. Next time you are in the midst of a particularly grueling WOD and The Suck is bearing down on you, take a brief moment and just say, “oh yep there you are, The Suck, I feel ya, I know you aren’t going anywhere, well come along for the ride my friend.” Sound crazy, it’s not. The simple act of recognizing The Suck helps you to deal with it. Tip number 2 for dealing with The Suck, get loud! Scream, holler, grunt, groan, or swear. I know, I know, it sounds silly, but its true, vocalizing The Suck helps you to acknowledge The Suck, which then helps you get past it. So I say again get loud! There are tons more ways of dealing with The Suck, and everybody will have their own unique way, but the truth of the matter is you will never learn them until you are forced to try them. So spend some time with The Suck. It has a lot to offer you. Robert Austin CrossFit Corvallis www.crossfitcorvallis.com
Hey CrossFit, I hate you. I hate you for so many reasons. I hate you so much I have even made a list. So, listen up! 1. CrossFit I hate you for making me greedy. I used to be all of a size 38 waist and by doing your workouts and eating some “modern-day Paleo” I lost 5 pants sizes all the way to a 33. Then I settled in comfortably as a 34. Rather than be satisfied with being 34, I want the 33 back… and more defined abs…and more strength…and more cardio…I just want more. And now, I want it easy…I just want it to happen. Dammit don’t I just deserve it? 2. CrossFit I hate you for making my wife strong… and confident…and empowered. My life would be easier if I had a wife I could just tell what to do, when to be where, what I needed and it was done. She is an awesome partner, but a “yes honey” wife who has only my ambitions would be easier (and I like easy sometimes)…I did not have a total “yes honey” before but now CrossFit I know it is even father away and just not gonna happen. 3. CrossFit I hate you for making me judge America’s mass feeding systems. I still eat fast food, and often, but I am always modifying what is on the menu. I am frustrated that we do not just have easy options for everyone just to pick from at places to eat. I see our society shoveling life out of themselves by not properly fueling the body God gave us to power our life. And, I fall into the trap myself. Just this week alone, I had pizza, cheesecake, carrot cake, beers, Cherry Berry 19.6 oz, PeachWave 18.7 oz, Taco Johns burritos. Maybe that is the real issue with reason #1 but either way, I hate you. 4. CrossFit I hate you for making me believe I no longer have a chronic disease. See with the fitness and nutrition habits you taught me, I actually believe I no longer even need maintenance medications and have tapered myself off every pill I am prescribed – 14 pills down to zero. I am in
remission, and now I believe my remission can last 80 years (I think living that much longer would be cool). And though I feel awesome today, it angers me that you give me this sense of security that I am in remission forever as this disease tried to kill me at 25 and chronic means forever. 5. CrossFit, I hate you for making me want everyone to CrossFit. I hate that I wonder why anyone would not CrossFit, at least in some form, somewhere, regularly. I hate that you make me believe CrossFit is for everyone, every body type, every athlete no matter how athletic or un-athletic, every age whether child or great grandparent. I hate that I see a good athlete and wonder why they do not want to be even better. I hate that I see a very deconditioned person and wonder “why not try?” See CrossFit can be done anywhere, anytime and with anyone. Though I needed to join an actual CrossFit, anyone can do it. The workouts are everywhere and free. The equipment available. The space unlimited. There are no excuses not to CrossFit. And because of this CrossFit, you make me think everyone should CrossFit.
CrossFit I hate you. I could go on and maybe there is even some more hate stored up inside I could share later. Even so, I know there are other haters out there too, so I will open it up for comments… Greg Nelson is dad of 5 kids and the husband of a box owner. His wife Liza has a deep passion for CrossFit and the people at CrossFit Sioux Falls and is the person who introduced him to CrossFit and sent him on this journey. Greg is a CF-L1 and CF Kids Certified Coach at CrossFit Sioux Falls in South Dakota. Greg Nelson Crossfit Sioux Falls www.crossfitsiouxfalls.com
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Meal Timing Concerns: Breakfast, Frequency, & Snacking
The issue of meal timing is a dense thicket of conflicting advice, a mix of conventional wisdom dispensed from USA Today articles, broscience on Internet forums, and confusing physiological feedback from a dysfunctional metabolism. How can one wade through it all and stay sane? You’ve been told your entire life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then you hear about intermittent fasting, Warrior Diets, and skipping breakfast while thriving. The buff/ cut/shredded/ripped/insert-increasingly-violentadjective-to-describe-one’s-leanness-here (what’s next, “flayed”?) dudes at the gym insist you should break up your eating into at least six small meals (and if possible, maintain a steady IV-drip of Muscle Milk throughout the day) to “boost” your metabolism. Some say three meals a day works just as well, while others say it’s even superior. Others try to simplify things. They suggest listening to your own body, to eat when hungry and fast when not, which makes sense, but what if you’re overweight and hungry all the time – can your body’s metabolic signaling really be trusted? These are common concerns. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I think I can make navigating the meal timing issue a little easier for people. Let’s go through a couple of the most common questions and explore what might work. I think you’ll find that context is key.
To Eat Breakfast, or Not
It’s true that epidemiology shows habitual breakfast skippers trend toward being fatter and less healthy than traditional breakfasters. People who skip breakfast are more likely to be dieters (meaning they’re overweight) and lead generally unhealthy lifestyles (since skipping breakfast is widely seen as unhealthy, they’re more likely to engage in other unhealthy activities).
Is this true for you, though? Are you technically skipping breakfast, only to grab a Frappucino on the way to work and eat a couple stale donuts in your office at 10 AM? Are you skipping breakfast intuitively, simply because you’re not hungry? Or are you skipping breakfast while mustering up all the willpower you have and ignoring your body’s cries for sustenance?
These are two very different physiological states. I’d argue that the intuitive breakfast skipper is not skipping breakfast at all. Instead, he (or she) is in tune with his body. He’s still breaking his fast, just at a later time. The tortured breakfast skipper is fighting against his own satiety hormones, a battle he cannot win over the long haul. He’s living in perpetual metabolic discord. What do you think he’s more likely to eat for lunch – a Big Ass Salad whose contents he lovingly and thoughtfully prepared the night before, or a Big Mac combo? If you’re of the former category and a traditionallytimed breakfast simply never occurs to you, you’re fine. Stick with it and eat when you get hungry, especially if your fat-loss efforts are succeeding. Others might want to eat a protein-rich breakfast. Overweight teens who habitually skipped breakfast ate either a high-protein breakfast (50 grams protein) or a breakfast with normal amounts of protein (18 grams) for seven days. Three hours after their last breakfast on the seventh day, researchers measured the teens’ neural responses to pictures of food. The high-protein group displayed the least amount of activity in areas
of the brain associated with food reward. According to brain imaging scans, the high-protein group was more sated and less interested in the idea of food than the low-protein group. Of course, the usual caveats apply here: these overweight teens were not skipping breakfast so they could do their afternoon squat session fasted, they probably weren’t interested in fasting-induced cellular autophagy, and I doubt they skipped breakfast spontaneously because they were happily humming along on stored body fat energy. In short, they are a specific demographic whose results may not apply to you. But if you’re the type who’s tried to skip breakfast and failed miserably – or did it and felt miserable and ravenous – you might try eating a high-protein breakfast. Add some fat to that protein and I bet you could maintain satiation for longer than the three hours described in the study. Many Small Meals vs. Few Large Meals To graze or to feast? According to many fitness “experts,” grazing is supposed to “stoke the metabolic fire,” while infrequent meals “slow your metabolism.” The idea is that eating many small meals keeps your metabolism plugging away at a high rate for the entire
day, helping you burn more fat. Conversely, going too long between meals slows down your metabolism, so that when you do eat, your body is sluggish to respond to the caloric load and you end up storing it as fat. It’s a neat-sounding theory, but it isn’t true. First of all, there is no metabolic advantage to eating multiple meals. Yeah, your body expends metabolic energy to process and digest food, but it doesn’t matter when or how it’s eaten. You could eat a steak in a single sitting or the same steak cut up into five pieces, each eaten an hour apart, and the total energy expenditure required to process and digest the steak would be identical in both cases. So, assuming macronutrient ratios and caloric content are identical, eating more frequently doesn’t make your metabolism “burn” brighter. If it did, this study would have ruled in favor of increased meal frequency as an effective tool in weight loss for obese patients. But it didn’t. But wait: eating more frequently keeps you sated, right? If you’re eating more often and keep a cache of snacks on hand, you should be able to keep hunger at bay. This must be true because those 100-calorie snack packs of
cookies and chips are so successful, and I always see the trimmest, sveltest folks happily snacking away on them. Why, I remember seeing a cubicle garbage bin positively filled to the brim with 100-cal snack wrappers. Its inhabitant was off for lunch at the time, but with all that healthy snacking, I imagine he or she was fit as a fiddle! Ha, no. A recent study actually suggests that eating more frequently reduces measures of satiety and fullness in overweight and obese men (the population that most desperately needs satiety, mind you), while eating less frequent, higher-protein meals increases satiety and reduces hunger. This is buttressed by the hordes of anecdotes I receive in my inbox from folks who only achieved freedom from constant hunger when they started eating real, substantial Primal meals and stopped obsessing over frequent, smaller meals. What About Snacking? Another study, featured in a recent Weekend Link Love, reveals that 25% of Americans’ calories now come from snacks, half of which are sweetened beverages. Sure, drinking soda and eating chips in between meals
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is obviously terrible, but that doesn’t really apply to Primal snackers and their macadamia nuts, beef jerky, and berries. Or does it? For certain groups, I think healthy snacking, or smaller, healthy meals, may be warranted. If you’re starving, it’s definitely better to reach for the beef jerky than the cookie. Chris Kresser wrote about how infrequent, larger meals and IFing (even in the context of a “paleotype” diet) cause wild blood sugar swings in some of his patients, most notably the stressed-out ones with cortisol disregulation, so that’s something to consider. In my experience, whenever I’ve had a bad night’s sleep or am going through a particularly stressful situation with work or life in general, I like breakfast; I get hungrier more often and skipping breakfast or fasting simply doesn’t feel right, so I don’t. Rather than tough it out or power through it, I listen to my body in these situations and eat if I’m hungry. I strongly suspect that trying to fast when your body doesn’t “want” to does more harm than good. Problems arise when this becomes chronic, when you’re always stressed out, always hungry, and always snacking. But in the short term? Eat when hungry.
If you must snack, include some protein. As to why, I’ll draw your attention to a brilliant post by J. Stanton, entitled “Why Snacking Makes You Weak, Not Just Fat.” Stanton explains why eating a carb rich snack without protein is inherently catabolic: the insulin spike stimulates muscle protein synthesis, for which the body needs amino acids, and without dietary protein the body must draw on muscle protein stores. Once or twice this wouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re snacking on protein-deficient carby foods throughout the day, every day, you’re eventually going to see muscle wasting. The classic example is the skinny-fat cyclist or jogger with a fanny pack full of dried fruit
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and a bandolier of glucose gel packets. Personally, I like my buddy Aaron Blaisdell‘s slogan: “Not IF, but WHEN (When Hunger Ensues Naturally).” Let hunger happen. Don’t force the fasting. Don’t fight hunger just because your official “eating window” hasn’t arrived yet, and if you feel it’s “ensuing” unnaturally, do some investigation. Are you sleeping well? Are you training too much, or not at all? Is your 80/20 turning into a 60/40? If all that stuff is under control, consider that you may need a few days to entrain your ghrelin secretion to your eating schedule. Ghrelin? It’s a hormone that precedes and indeed predicts mealtimes, induces hunger and is secreted when you’re about to eat. Your ghrelin secretion schedule follows your eating schedule, and it’s a fast responder, so a few days should be plenty of time to get things lined up. In the meantime, you may have to deal with a little extra hunger at your previously normal mealtimes. In the end, it all comes down to doing what works for you. I’ll admit that IF is a great tool for people who thrive on it. I like throwing in a fast here and there, because it works for me. You have to consider how these
strategies work within the confines of your physiology. If something isn’t working for you, don’t “stick with it” just because it worked for others or there’s a big blog post listing all the benefits with links to rat studies and human trials. Eat a big breakfast if you need it. Eat food before your workout if you find you perform better with something in your stomach. Your needs are the bottom line – all other considerations pale in comparison. Of course, your needs will change, especially as you continue with the PB lifestyle. Once you start sleeping, eating, dealing with stress, and moving well, things get easier. You might get hungry a little later in the day. You might find you even have enough energy for a quick workout before that first meal. You might look up from your plate and realize that it’s noon and you haven’t eaten in sixteen hours – and you feel fine. When that happens, go with it. Don’t force it, but let it happen if it will. The good news is that this is all contextual, and nothing is written in stone. Mark Sisson http://www.MarksDailyApple.com
Elite CrossFit cover photo submission by Tim Bougie
Sarah Fragoso Stuffed Zucchini • 3-4 large zucchinis
• 2 pounds ground bison or other ground meat • 1 red onion, diced • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced • 8.5 oz sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, finely chopped • 1 cup fresh basil, diced • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely diced • 4 garlic cloves, minced • 1 tablespoon dried oregano • A splash of balsamic vinegar • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375. Cut a thin slice of the top of the zucchinis and scoop out the inside of the squash leaving the shell. Drizzle the insides of the squash with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. While the squash shells are in the oven, start browning your ground meat, when the meat is almost brown, add the onions, eggplant, and diced excess zucchini, and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Pull the shells out of the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the meat mixture. Put the stuffed zucchinis back into the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
Sarah has a strong passion for helping others acclimate and succeed on the paleo diet and has done so globally with her extremely successful paleo recipe and advice blog, EverydayPaleo.com. Sarah is also author of the best selling book, Everyday Paleo as well as a strength and conditioning coach at Norcal Strength and Conditioning. Sarah has mentored under the leading expert in the field, Robb Wolf, New York Times best selling author of The Paleo Solution. She also holds a degree in psychology, and has successfully found true health and wellness for herself and her family thanks to living a paleo lifestyle. Finally, Sarah runs the extremely successful podcast, “Paleo Talk” as well as conducts nationwide Paleo Talk seminars and also contributes to several publications and blogs regarding how to successfully introduce and maintain the paleo lifestyle for both individuals and families.
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Published on Jul 31, 2011
WOD Talk Magazine is a CrossFit lifestyle focused digital publication that provides educational and inspirational information from experts i...